One of the Toyota Fortuner's main strengths has always been its interior. When we first sat in one a decade ago, we were surprised at how refined and car-like the cabin was. We almost wondered why Toyota didn’t include the Fortuner in the “Cruiser” family (with the Land Cruiser and the Land Cruiser Prado).
So when we finally saw the new-generation model’s photos, we immediately looked for the interior shots. However, the first batch of pictures only highlighted the Fortuner’s Lexus-like body. We did find unofficial images courtesy of some Fortuner fan in Thailand, but nothing beats sanctioned photography, of course.
Meanwhile, we've noticed Toyota’s midsize SUV getting clobbered in our midsize-SUV styling poll. Based on exterior looks alone, it seems like the Fortuner might have a hard time matching up against its equally new rivals.
Now, Toyota Australia's media site just came out with photos revealing the cabin, with plenty of detail. Compared with our first batch of pics, these images show how much more refined and car-like the new model is. There are touches that we already saw in the recently launched Hilux, but the new Fortuner sports a more premium look thanks to its choice of materials. Do note that this is an Australian-spec unit, so the trims and the colors could vary from the units we will get.
The versatility seems similar to the outgoing model, with the third-row seats folding upward and to each side. All three rows will also enjoy the comfort of A/C vents, a godsend during our increasingly hot summers.
But it’s the gauges and the multi-information display that really impress us. Hard as it is to believe, but we think that the full-color display in the higher variants has fonts similar to those on Lexus vehicles. Beyond the dazzling electronic displays, leather and what looks like premium plastics abound.
Only time will tell if the plush cabin of the Fortuner will allow it to dominate the very competitive segment once more. In the meantime, enjoy these photos.